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Meeting today with.....

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I met with the director of our umbrella school yesterday. In TN we can register with a church related umbrella school and avoid direct contact with state and local school officials. We are a part of their school. They have a brick and mortar school. Plus, they handle all the paperwork for the state and provide guidance as well as other services. Ours does anyway. Some umbrella schools don't offer anything except a legal covering. Any way.... I'm getting sidetracked....


So, I met with the director yesterday to discuss the remainer of dd17's senior year and how her illness has affected our schooling as a family. The other kids are right on schedule in some subjects and behind schedule in others. My 'attendance' records may not be completely accurate. Etc.


Here's what she had to say:

1. Concentrate on feeling better and getting healthy. Hopefully, she'll feel better in January and can focus THEN on school and future plans.


2. She does not have to take Chemistry. She has done module 1 I bet 3 times and is just not able to concentrate. She can choose an easier science and use "real" books from the library. She is a natural writer, so I can assign a report, essay, or short research paper to "grade" the class.


3. At this point, TN has 2 high school diplomas: standard and college prep. She MUST take Algebra 2 to get the college prep diploma. She just has not had the brain power to tackle Algebra. So, she can decide to get a standard diploma and NOT finish Algebra 2.


4. If she does want the college prep diploma, then save the science and algebra to begin in January. Finish the other subjects this sememster and only do science and Alg 2 in the spring. Block schedule.


5. If she chooses to go the local Community College for one year, it will not matter which high school diploma she earns. The local CC will accept the standard diploma and she can take any math or science there.


6. She does need to take the ACT again to raise her score 2 points. Because she was so sick when she took it, the director said, she'll probably get those 2 points if she feels better and studies for it a bit more. But that the CC might accept her provisionally with a letter or documentaion from her doctor.


7. About the number of school days...... don't worry about it. Count the days the other kids do school for 4 hours per day and turn in our attendance as a family. There are alot of classroom seniors that are sick and are not getting in 180 days this year but will graduate anyway.


9. As far as "reading books only". Don't do that for a full semester and certainly do not do that for a full year. I do need to give several (3,4,5) written assignments per semester to average a grade. She suggested 1 or 2 "tests", 2 or 3 "quizzes" (maybe just vocabulary), and 1 short paper or project. Well, I've probably already graded that many assignments. And although this is a "classical " school, she said that I should not "discount the value of oral narration."


I started crying during our meeting. She said, "YOU need a break.Go home and rest until Monday morning. On Monday, give reading assignments for the week and listen to each child orally narrate what they read on Thursday and Friday." AND, she also implied for me to not worry about being behind schedule in math and not worry about math at all for a week.... that everyone will do better with the math after a week.


One of the best things we discussed is that the main value in home schooling is learning the life skills to cope with crisis. In the work world crisis happens and you still have to get up , get dressed, and go to work. The coping skills that my family is learning through this time of dd17's illness is MORE important than academics. We must NOT slack on academics an entire year (meaning not doing ANYTHING), but assigning reading only for a couple of months is NOT going harm at all.


I thought you all might like to know all this.

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Well, one thing in my favor is that when we registered with this umbrella program I gave two past portfolios for each student. She "knows" we aren't slackers!


It did take some courage to admit my senior will not get in 180 days of schooling. And, it did take some courage to admit that some "classes" are not being done at all... even for the younger children.


Basically, the meeting took MOST of the pressure OFF!!! I am so glad we chose to pay the extra money for a really GOOD umbrella program. Every penny was worth it for me just in yesterday's meeting!

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